Oil Theft

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Jibrin Ibrahim

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Sep 17, 2022, 3:40:32 AMSep 17
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Oil Theft and Collapse of the Nigerian Rentier State

Jibrin Ibrahim, Deepening Democracy Column, Daily Trust, 16th September 2022

On Tuesday, Thisday newspaper carried a disturbing headline. Nigeria’s petrol subsidy bill is skyrocketing this year and by the end of December, the total bill would be $9.8 billion. This would exceed the total expenditure by all the states of the federation in 2021. This information is in a new report by a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Advisory Council and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC), Mr. Bismarck Rewane. Meanwhile the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has come out to confess that its revenue has collapsed due to massive crude oil theft. 
With oil theft and illegal bunkering taking as much as 400,000 barrels per day of the country’s oil production, Rewane said as much as $1.2 billion was lost to the menace every month, which was the combined budget of Osun, Ekiti and Kwara in 2021.

The Rewane report adds that between 2015 to 2020, $5.5 billion was spent on subsidy, in 2021 alone it went up to $3.8 billion, and $6.2 billion in just the first quarter of 2022. There is no other word for it but madness. Nigeria in its moment of greatest need due to the collapse of revenue inflows, is suddenly bloating figures of petrol imports and subsidy. As it has no money to pay, it is borrowing massive amounts of money to pay subsidy for petrol, most of it bogus. Attempts by the National Assembly to establish what exactly is Nigeria’s average daily petrol consumption has been obfuscated by NNPCL, Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. The Nigerian Government is behaving like pirates raiding a ship, carrying all the valuables and then sinking the ship as they return to their ship. In our case however, what is being destroyed is Nigeria and very clearly, those in charge will loot everything, including the future wealth of our grandchildren, which they have already mortgaged and most likely move to Dubai after jumping ship.

Massive theft at the federal level is replicated at the state level. Many state governments continued to pile up debts and stealing the borrowed money they are getting in. They do not even bother to pay salaries. State Governors today live between Abuja and their foreign primary homes and hardly visit the states they are supposed to be governing. They have chosen their camp and it is not they state they are supposed to be ruling.

The federal government recently put the current daily spend on maintaining the petrol subsidy at N18.4 billion for 2022.
The Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, in an interview, suggested that Nigeria might seek relief from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if it was unable to address its fiscal challenges. The whole world knows about Nigeria’s madness of allowing state sponsored pirates to take over its petroleum production and exports while massively borrowing new money for the same Pirates to steal from. Why would any rational institution come into this crazy trap? When the history of this madness is written, the present regime’s economic management team would rise to infamy for continuously asserting we are an under-borrowed country and can continue along the path leaving the deadly legacy to our grandchildren. Maybe it is befitting that the Nigerian state is today reliant on a militant, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, who got a $1.08 billion to stop the theft. Why not, after all, his name is Government.

Nigeria today has the 25th highest inflation rate in the world, with price rises mainly driven by higher energy and food prices. The naira had lost at least 94.87 per cent of its value in five years, crossing N715/$, before falling to N645/$ recently, and now trading at N703/$. Last week, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies slashed Nigeria’s production for the month by 4,000 barrels per day, to 1.826 million bpd, as against the 1.830 million bpd allocated in September. But Nigeria had even before then been unable to meet all of its production allocation, hitting just 1.083 million bpd in the July assessment and falling even lower to 972,000 barrels in August says the Rewane report.

A rentier state is one that is dependent on a narrow single extractive source of revenue such as crude oil. Such states are totally dependent on that source and in normal situations would do everything in their power to protect it. The Nigerian ruling class is so irresponsible that it is unable, maybe unwilling to protect its source of revenue. A few weeks ago, a super tanker with capacity to carry three million litres of crude was discovered and an alert sent to arrest it. It allegedly escaped as if it was a small speed boat carrying 100 litres of crude. For a super tanker like that to allegedly escape, it must have the support of the political and security hierarchy in addition to the NNPCL authorities that certify legitimate carriers. 

What this means is that within the establishment, there is no one working to serve the interests of Nigeria. For the pirates that are ruling and ruining our country, their commitment to stealing all our resources is that only thing that matters. They are comforted by the knowledge that there is no sheriff in town to question or checkmate their activities. It is very clear where the current dynamics are leading the Nigerian state to – collapse and dismemberment. The onus is on us, 200 million citizens, to elect the government we deserve that can engage the path of salvation and reconstruction. The consequences of state collapse are too serious to accept for the largest population of Black people in the world.

 

 

 

Professor Jibrin Ibrahim
Senior Fellow
Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja
Follow me on twitter @jibrinibrahim17

Toyin Falola

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Sep 17, 2022, 3:53:04 AMSep 17
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Great Jibrin:

So, the state cannot secure a single means of its survival?

The Pharoah could not extract grains from peasants, but he wanted a pyramid as its tomb.

I have been asking you the same question for years: why are you committed to this democracy?

TF

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Moses Ebe Ochonu

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Sep 17, 2022, 10:37:59 AMSep 17
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You have asked Jibrin a foundational question, one which "pro-democracy" Africans like him hesitate to pose let alone address. This democracy, this liberal democracy, is the death of Nigeria. It is calamitous and has put Nigeria in the abyss. All of these crimes that have been committed under the current regime against Nigeria and her future generations have been committed "democratically," that is, these abuses have been permitted and legitimized by the overbearing executive presidency and the winner-takes-all features of our liberal democratic practice.  

This democracy that we adopted (not adapted) uncritically has had a similarly ruinous effect on many other African countries. And yet our people are too lazy and or cowardly to rethink this ill-fitting "democratic" contraption and engineer an African form of representative, accountable, and democratic (yes, democratic) governance.

Those who want to advance foundational critiques against the democracy itself (rather than against actions and crimes of individuals permitted under it), are afraid to be called anti-democratic or undemocratic, or, worse, pro-authoritarian. So, we're stuck, accepting the nation-killing abuses of this democracy and wasting our time discussing atmospherics and critiquing the symptoms of a dysfunctional and, in our context, unworkable democracy rather than questioning the democracy itself--the genre of democracy we have uncritically borrowed from Oyinbo people.

With Jibin, I am not surprised. He won't give a clear answer to the question you asked him, a question that some of us have been asking in publications and public commentaries for almost 15 years. Jibrin was, for much of his career outside the academy, the head of the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), a Western-funded pro-democracy NGO, a front for the propagation of liberal democracy in Nigeria. So, it's not surprising that no matter how disastrous our liberal democratic experiment has been and continues to be, Jibrin will remain committed to upholding and, in his famous words, "deepening democracy." The virus that causes the disease and symptoms he criticizes in his write-ups, liberal democracy, remains sacrosanct, beyond critique.

On another note, I read his current piece. I saw him name and skewer a variety of culprits for Nigeria's current state of insecurity and bankruptcy. His villains range from governors to officials of the NNPCL and the CBN, to "pirates," to Tompolo, to officials of the ministry of finance, to the security agencies, to unnamed officials of the government. Curiously missing from his list of culpable entities is the biggest one of all, Buhari, the man who appointed all these corrupt and misbehaving officials or supervises the rotten institutions, and under whose leadership said historic profligacy, criminal borrowing, and rapacious theft are happening. 

Does the buck no longer stop at the desk of the president? Reading Jibrin, one would be tempted to think that either he assumes that Nigeria does not have a leader or that there's some subconscious rule or logic that prevents him from naming the man who has led Nigeria into this mess, this "madness" as Jibrin calls it.

Jibrin Ibrahim

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Sep 17, 2022, 11:20:45 AMSep 17
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T Falola
Please invent a good alternative to liberal democracy then we can talk.

Professor Jibrin Ibrahim
Senior Fellow
Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja
Follow me on twitter @jibrinibrahim17

Yusuf Adamu

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Sep 17, 2022, 3:21:50 PMSep 17
to dialogue
Democracy that is being exported from the West is not for developing countries. Countries cannot and will not develop with democratic principles. It is an alien political system.
Yusuf Adamu 

Emmanuel Udogu

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Sep 17, 2022, 8:43:56 PMSep 17
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Opinion on the issue of Liberal Democracy 


I concur with Jibrin on the matter of Liberal Democracy. If anyone has a better system that will work for Nigeria and Africa, please suggest it. I, and other political scientists, will be open to analyzing it. 


Indeed, to paraphrase Sir Winston Churchil; 


“Democracy is a problematic system of governance, except that we are yet to come up with a better model.” 


I have expressed my opinion on liberal democracy in this forum. Therefore, I will not flog a dead horse on the issue. 


I would suggest, however, that we should be less concerned with nomenclature–i.e.,liberal, social, consociational, and “WAZOBIA” democracy, just to list a few. Indeed, what is in a name? Rather, I would suggest that we review the characteristics of the framework–liberal democracy or “Wazobia” democracy to see how efficacious each might be for the Nigerian (or African) system. 


In my view, Liberal Democracy has not worked in the Nigerian case because of the character of some of our unpatriotic political actors who act on the basis of the “law of self-interest.” They frequently ignore the legal praxis of Liberal Democracy because of their quest for power, money, and fame.  Witness, for example, the messy situation within the People Democratic Party (PDP) since its convention (within the context of the party’s constitution). Are most of the politicians interested in the country and its hungry citizens? I don’t think so.


If you are interested, please read: E. Ike Udogu, Democracy in Africa: Fiction or Fact (A paper presented in Budapest, Hungary, in May 2016).


Have a great weekend, y’all!


Ike Udogu



Harrow, Kenneth

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Sep 17, 2022, 9:16:31 PMSep 17
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i am not very happy with winston churchill's answer or his conservative politics. what is there about his answer which blinded him to the antidemocratic politics of colonialism? i know the answer, since it is already buried in the earlier posting that told us that "developed" nations had valuable knowledge that "underdeveloped" nations needed, like issues of political succession. i am afraid of getting started on that one. how anyone could possibly regard the most highly developed technological and industrial nations as serving as models for poorer, non-industrial nations is a mystery to me, to anyone aware of the horrors of the 20th century. not one single "developed" nation did not engage in the destruction of millions of people in highly developed warfare; and as development is a concept dating to the enlightenment, the same question pertains to slavery or to what i would call industrial slavery as well, conditions of the working class in the early industrial revolution.

all the answers about capitalism, socialism, democracy, communism, that we are accustomed to hearing from our youth--in my case from the 1950s on--are inadequate.,.  also for me are other answers, claiming our own, each of us, with our national heritage need to forge systems appropriate to our histories and cultures. that doesn't work for me unless it can be harmonized with the conditions imposed on us by our modes of production, distribution, and consumption, by the technologies with which we live; nor is it adequate if it ignores conditions of exploitation.

if the swedish model of social democracy is not enough for a  provisional answer, we have to ask, what is going on in sweden or denmark that they are so hostile to immigrants, so much that sweden would accept neonazis in their new ruling coalition. i await cornelius's answer.

the countries most reasonable about backing away from violent exploitation or colonial domination are those that lost world war two. if history is written by the winners, perhaps decent politics begins with the losers.

as for "liberal democracy," it is too abstract given our global economy which really imposes social orders on all of us, willy-nilly. that has to be a starting point for speculation on social and political orders if it is to be appropriate for our world today
ken

kenneth harrow

professor emeritus

dept of english

michigan state university

517 803-8839

har...@msu.edu


From: 'Emmanuel Udogu' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2022 6:33 PM
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Subject: Re: [External] Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Oil Theft
 

Jibrin Ibrahim

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Sep 18, 2022, 8:17:08 AMSep 18
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I understand that it is easy for some people to get fed up with liberal democracy and seek alternatives after frustrations around poor operationalisation of the system by practitioners. Recall our history, 1sr Republic lasted six years, 2nd four years, 3rd did not take off and now 4th has been operationalised for 22 years and it still has so many problems. How long has it been in practice in the US and how come it still has problems. We need to be careful in assessing our history, such attitude led to support for militarism and authoritarianism that produced worse results. It easy to say there are better alternatives but the reality is that the alternatives have been tried in different forms of authoritarianism and we know the outcomes.

My defence for liberal democracy were published in different CODESRIA outputs in the 1990s, when I was a full time academic in Ahmadu Bello University and those who think I entered the bandwagon when I worked for the Centre for Democracy and Development, (by the way I retired from the Centre in 2013), from 2006 to 2013 need to do some home work..




 
Professor Jibrin Ibrahim
Senior Fellow
Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja
Follow me on twitter @jibrinibrahim17

Harrow, Kenneth

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Sep 18, 2022, 8:17:08 AMSep 18
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here's a piece of the answer to modern govts, it is the explanation for far right gains in sweden--and everywhere in rich countries:
"Sweden, with a history of openness to political refugees, accepted more migrants and asylum seekers per capita than any country in Europe, including Germany, in the 2015 mass migration crisis, most of them from Muslim countries. But the center-left Social Democrats, who have governed for the last eight years, failed, in many eyes, to assimilate the newcomers, while the far right has made strides by tying the longstanding issue of gun crime to immigration."
ken
Campaigning on issues like immigration, religion, crime and the cost of environmental rules, the Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots, grew its support.


kenneth harrow

professor emeritus

dept of english

michigan state university

517 803-8839

har...@msu.edu


From: Harrow, Kenneth <har...@msu.edu>
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2022 9:13 PM

Moses Ebe Ochonu

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Sep 18, 2022, 10:07:35 AMSep 18
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Nigerian/African "pro-democracy" evangelists never disappoint with their regurgitation of frozen "pro-democratic" lingo. It's a hackneyed rhetorical maneuver that one can always count on as a response to any critique of their sacrosanct object of inexplicable adulation: liberal democracy. 

They're so predictable in their talking points. Just like I stated in my earlier intervention, Jibrin has predictably, and without any hint of self-awareness, invoked the two dirty words of "authoritarianism" and "militarism" to characterize critiques and critics of liberal democracy in Nigeria/Africa. This is always their reflexive, impulsive response, and it is because they cannot argue on the points. 

This binary, Manichean thinking is the reason we're stuck in this "madness" as Jibrin himself describes our liberal democratic experiment. What makes Jibrin and his "pro-democracy" activists believe that the alternative to liberal democracy is or must be military dictatorship or authoritarian rule? Are we too lazy that we cannot fashion our own type of democracy based on our political history, experience, and the sociological singularities of our countries? Are there no African or Nigerian democratic or proto-democratic forms that we can work out and refine through painstaking deliberation, intellectual craftsmanship, and philosophical reflection? Why must we import a democratic system that evolved from and was crafted in consonance with a foreign, Western political history when we have many varieties of democratic political and governing systems in our own history from which to build our own kind of democracy and democratic culture? As the Nigerian pidgin comedy slang goes, no be juju be dat?

As for the point about how long it took the West to build their liberal democratic system, two simple responses. First, liberal democracy is homegrown in the West, a product of their creative and necessarily messy intellectual and political work. They didn't import a system from Africa, Asia, or elsewhere. Second, have you seen the dysfunctional state of liberal democracy in the West lately? Have you seen what liberal democracy is doing to these so-called developed countries? You're alluding to the "problems" the system still has in the West and yet you're unashamedly defending the uncritical importation of this same system and its problems. Is that not a strange type of self-erasing contradiction?

Our critique of liberal democracy in Nigeria/Africa is not conditional on so-called democratic setbacks (to use a favorite jargon of you "pro-democracy" people) and the misbehavior of its superintendents or practitioners. That would be a surface-level, superficial critique. Our critique is a foundational and philosophical one. It goes to the heart of the incompatibility of liberal democracy and its assumptions and norms with our society. Some of these norms were tried by colonial regimes. They did not work. It's not simply a problem of Africans not abiding by or refusing to abide by the norms of liberal democracy as Ike Udogu claimed. It's a case of the norms themselves being unsuited, and in some cases hostile, to our cultural and political inclination and socialization. This is why some of us started critiquing this liberal democratic order in Nigeria as early as Obasanjo's tenure, long before the chaos and "madness" of this moment. Check the timeline of our publications and public commentaries on this topic.



Toyin Falola

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Sep 18, 2022, 10:07:35 AMSep 18
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Jibrin:

Great response. Here are some challenges:

  1. Can the citizens reform that democracy itself? Yes, and we can fight for this.
  2. Can members of the political class reform themselves and that democracy? This is the greatest challenge. Chaos is the source of their meal ticket.
  3. Can we demonetize that democracy and shifts its dividends to the people?
  4. Can we be more serious in descaling corruption, not eliminating it, as the chances of elimination are small.

Harrow, Kenneth

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Sep 18, 2022, 10:07:35 AMSep 18
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dear jibrin,
my problem is that i find the words "liberal democracy" far too all encompassing.
if you mean by democracy, one person, one vote, i can agree. but there are many different systems for voting, and nothing guarantees that that vote will result in better goverance. is it the vote, or the limits placed on the powers of those for whom we vote, and limits not simply by laws, which are often ignored, but by compensating powers. how is any of it enforced? what limits are placed on the enforcers? what kind of democracy do you have in egypt, say, where the military own the vast majority of the wealth and control the govt completely. and yet there are "liberal" laws and regular votes...for sissi.

there are equally illiberal legal systems, like ours in the u.s. where votes are not equally counted. but more important, to my mind, is the notion that you can describe a system of governance simply by voting and the gooverning system as separate from the economic order, and all its powers that now seem to me much vaster. what does a govt do now? a small tax, small controls usually set by the corporations themselves and encorporated into laws. who's kidding who? we are not ruled by weak parliaments or presidents but by the corporations who sustain them in office.
ken

kenneth harrow

professor emeritus

dept of english

michigan state university

517 803-8839

har...@msu.edu


Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2022 5:24 AM

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Oluwatoyin Adepoju

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Sep 18, 2022, 1:04:10 PMSep 18
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It would be good to read rigorous political theory constructing a system different from what is being described as "liberal democracy".

I'm happy to read books and articles but prefer to start my reading from the medium where this possibility is being presented.

I find claims that democratic processes are unsuited  to Africans to be a frightening idea.

Perhaps I need a more nuanced understanding of the claim being made.

Thanks

Toyin



Jibrin Ibrahim

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Sep 18, 2022, 1:04:10 PMSep 18
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It might be predictable to say the alternative to liberal democracy is authoritarianism, that's the lesson of history, but to respond that we should invent our own without any propositions on what is on offer is intellectual laziness.

Falola, democracy is deepened when citizens' capacity to struggle for it increases. AS I repeated over and over, Nigeria's citizens are committed to democracy but the ruling class is schooled in subverting democracy. Those who come out to discredit democracy know exactly which side they are on.


Professor Jibrin Ibrahim
Senior Fellow
Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja
Follow me on twitter @jibrinibrahim17

Moses Ebe Ochonu

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Sep 18, 2022, 1:04:10 PMSep 18
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Ike Udogu,

Is it not a tad disingenuous for African political scientists like you and Jibrin to say "show us an alternative to liberal democracy and we'll consider it'? You're trained political scientists, for crying out loud. And you're Africans to boot. It is your friggin job to produce a theory of African democracy. It is your job to produce an African alternative (or alternatives) to liberal democracy. Do the job!

Can you imagine Alagoa, Ikime, Dike, Tamuno, Ajayi, and other members of the Ibadan School of History saying in the 1950s and 1960s "show us or produce an alternative African history and we'll consider it"? Can you imagine them saying "give us an alternative to the Eurocentric, imperial rendering of African history and then we can talk"?

Can you imagine Claude Ake saying "give us an alternative to modernization theory and we'll consider it"? 

All these great African scholars and intellectuals didn't sit around sarcastically challenging African critics of Eurocentrism and other imperialist impositions on Africa to come up with alternatives to the vast corpus of Eurocentric theories on and representations of Africa in scholarly canons and praxis. They seized the opportunity to critique the existing paradigms and practices and then proceeded to produce the alternatives to them.

Moses Ochonu

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Sep 18, 2022, 1:04:11 PMSep 18
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Ken,

You and I have had multiple conversations around these issues and it is heartening to see you make the point about the plurality of voting systems and how none is superior or guarantees good governance. Herein lies the problem with ideologies such as liberal democracy, which fetishize individual suffrage and periodic, winner-takes-all elections as superior means to achieve humane and accountable governance while demonizing alternative systems that operate on other democratic norms of elections or selection or a combination of the two. You are relativizing, deconstructing, and circumscribing liberal democracy. That’s a great start, something that apostles of liberal democracy are not even willing to countenance. You are pouting us yo countervailing and contrapuntal variables that undercut, predetermine, and in some ways interpellate liberal democracy.

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 18, 2022, at 9:31 AM, Moses Ebe Ochonu <meoc...@gmail.com> wrote:



Harrow, Kenneth

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Sep 18, 2022, 1:42:32 PMSep 18
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moses, it is beyond me to speculate intelligently on political systems that work better than others, because i haven't studied them. all i  can really speak out about are values, like fairness or autonomy or agency.
i don't believe in removing agency from any groups of  people, and giving it to others. i am thinking historically of poor people almost everywhere having to be subservient to wealthy people, and that translates into things like the electoral college or the senate, as opposed to the house of representatives, or the house of commons as opposed to the house of lords.

i am intuitively opposed to autocratic systems like the communist party in china or pseudo-elections of presidents in so many states around the world today.
there are certainly lots of alternatives. for instance you criticize winner take all; but if it were a system where the representatives elected are proportional to the vote, it is no longer winner take all, and people's vote would still count.
that seems reasonable or feasible.
the opposite is something like the vanguard of the proletariat theories that were tried with bolshevism. i don't know their virtues, but again my intuition would favor mensheviks.
on the other hand, in our local peace groups, we go for consensus. not majority wins, but everyone has to agree, and if someone doesn't, we talk until a compromise is reached.
another alternative is populism, like that of mussolini, which led to fascism. or to argentinian populism. i reallly don't know how to assess places like argentina.

lastly, as a minority, i oppose any systemss built on exclusion or elimination of minorities. i dson't know how much you know about the history of gypsies--the roma. treated awfully in recent centuries, treated like dirt. even down to today. there are equivalents in africa, the twa for instance in the great lakes region, or their equivalents in many other countries. i don't think about democracies when i appeal to universal rights theory to assure their rights.

and we have not raised any of the old ideals of socialism in this debate very much. a funny old word that somehow got new life with bernie sanders, of all things. even if not meant in the old-fashioned way, which relied on class differences that no longer exist.
ken

kenneth harrow

professor emeritus

dept of english

michigan state university

517 803-8839

har...@msu.edu


From: usaafric...@googlegroups.com <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Moses Ochonu <meoc...@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2022 12:53 PM

Emeagwali, Gloria (History)

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:41:56 AMSep 19
to Oluwatoyin Adepoju, usaafric...@googlegroups.com

“I find claims that democratic processes are 
unsuited  to Africans to be a frightening idea.”

Nobody claimed that. The argument is that
Western liberal democracy is not the
only pathway to participation, governance
 and citizen activism, and that it is actually
a flawed system. But before we go any 
further we have to identify the variables
 that we identify with the ideal  African
democracy. Rapid  sustained growth,  
equitable distribution within and between 
regions and social groups, citizen
participation, environmental  justice,
health care accessibility - in the
context of a caring, non- sadistic 
political elite - come  to mind.
The question is how  to achieve these, 
and the other essential variables, 
without expensive, manipulative, ballot -
box rituals, corruption, and financier
and donor intrusion. Moses,
what does your model  look like?





Professor Gloria Emeagwali
Prof. of History/African Studies, CCSU
africahistory.net; vimeo.com/ gloriaemeagwali
Recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Research
Excellence Award, Univ. of Texas at Austin;
2019 Distinguished Africanist Award
New York African Studies Association

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Moses Ebe Ochonu

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:41:56 AMSep 19
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Ken,

Another great, nuanced, and thought-provoking contribution. What's interesting and ironic is that, at a time when some Africans scholars are proudly and uncritically promoting liberal democracy and proclaiming glibly that there are no good alternatives to it, Westerners are stepping up their questioning of the deficits, limitations, and flaws of liberal democratic practice in their countries. They're even questioning its problematic beginnings in structures of inequality, marginalization, and exclusion.

They are not just critiquing it either; they're also taking practical steps to tweak voting systems and the power assigned to the votes. They're even standing the sacrosanct logic of party plurality on its head and, in some places, holding partyless or non-party elections.

You and I live in America. Increasingly, Americans have become frustrated with the inability of liberal democratic assumptions and principles to deliver equitable participation, legitimacy, accountability, and representation. 

And it's not just the disproportionate representation of small, rural states vis-a-vis large urban ones, or the disproportionate representation of rural and Southern votes in the electoral college in presidential elections. 

For a long time Americans have grumbled that American presidents and other elected officials are being elected by a smaller and smaller minority of American voters to represent and lead the majority. The president was being elected on some occasions without winning the popular vote. Even when they won the plurality of the vote, presidents, governors, and congressional candidates were getting into office by simply winning the majority of votes cast in the election. With dwindling turnout, rarely cracking fifty percent, in multi-candidate elections, some winners were winning with as little as 35 percent of 45 percent turnout---that is, they were winning elections by winning less than half of the less than half of eligible voters. In other words, they were far from the choice of but representing and acting on behalf of a majority of eligible voters.

This has led to radical changes in multiple states, notably Alaska and New Hampshire, and a growing movement to do the same in other states, in the direction of ranked choice voting. It's not a perfect solution but at least it ensures that the winner of an election is the choice of or is acceptable to a majority of those who voted in that election--the 45-50 percent of eligible voters who turn out.

In several states, primary and general elections for some offices are now party-neutral or party affiliation-neutral. Yet in Africa the fetish of "multiparty" elections, along with its restrictions on democratic freedoms, which was established as one of the strategic framing grammars of "democratization" in the 1990s and 2000s, remains unchallenged.

Some in America are going deeper to critique, as you have done, the historical and economic foundations of American liberal democracy. They're asking whether a system designed to exclude the voices of some socioeconomic, gender, and racial demographics in the country, a product of a compromise that gave disproportionate clout to former slaveholding states, and a system, as you correctly stated, compromised ab initio, by its monetized, corporatized constraints on elected officials, can deliver the ideals of democracy.

These are the kind of first order philosophical conversations and questions I want to provoke in the African context, not impulsively defensive and crudely empirical responses that proclaim the indisputable superiority and finality of liberal democracy, and posit it as a finished product that only needs to be properly implemented.

It is unacceptable to me that African politicians and agents, as terrible as they are in many ways, are portrayed as the only culprits of the existential threats that liberal democracy now poses to many African countries. The specious and outrageous argument is that there is nothing wrong with liberal democracy and that it is its implementation in Nigeria/Africa that is the problem. In other words, it's Africans that are the problem, not a borrowed, imported ideology that is being ferociously critiqued and tweaked in the places it originated.

We talk about the chaos and madness of a failed liberal democratic experiment but some of us will not heed Chinua Achebe's timeless call to locate where and how the rain began to beat us as a prelude to ameliorative thought and action.




For me, one of the fascinating reform in America is how Americans, realizing that 

On Sun, Sep 18, 2022 at 1:56 PM Moses Ebe Ochonu <meoc...@gmail.com> wrote:
My definition of intellectual laziness may be wrong, but it seems to me that the African scholar who dogmatically, uncritically, sheepishly, and lazily accepts, defends, and parrots the universal superiority of a liberal democratic order invented and developed in the West for the needs of Westerners and in conformity with their experience and history is more qualified to be described as intellectually lazy than the African who critiques this system, pushes Africans to free themselves from the yoke of this dysfunctional liberal democratic imposition, and challenges Africans claiming political science expertise and training to craft an African democratic alternative or set of alternatives to an alien and ill-fitting form of democracy that Africans embraced uncritically at a moment of weakness and neoliberal blackmail.

Toyin Adepoju, don't fall into the trap of Manichean thinking or into the false dichotomy of liberal democratic salesmen. To critique liberal democracy in Africa is not to say democracy is unsuitable to Africa or that Africans are undemocratic. In fact it is to say the opposite, that Africans have always been democratic, and had democratic systems and institutions before the encounter with the white man, before the post-Cold War neoliberal imposition of liberal democracy on Nigeria and other economically desperate African countries in exchange for Western patronage, loans, and other rescue packages. It is to say that, there were and are African forms of democratic practice that can and should serve as the building blocks of African democracy that would be more suited to countries of the continent than this borrowed system. 

That the adoption of liberal democracy in the 1990s and 2000s in Africa was preceded by dictatorial and authoritarian regimes is itself another proof of the neocolonial Cold War manipulation of African political spaces as both the Western and Eastern Cold War blocs cultivated, incubated, and propped up so-called strong man rule, a.k.a military and authoritarian rule, for their own purposes. It is one of the enduring ironies of the so-called "democratization" of Africa in 1990s and 2000s Africa that Africans' pro-liberal democracy activism was in part a response to and backlash against decades of authoritarian rule sponsored and sustained by the same Western countries now purportedly wanting to introduce "democracy" to "undemocratic" Africans allegedly socialized into militarism and authoritarianism. 

Someone infected you with a disease that was alien to your body (despotism), to your lineage, and now claims that  that disease is endemic to your society and that they have the cure (liberal democracy). Do you see the problem? Instead of rejecting this racist theory of the endemicity of despotism in Africa and coming up with African democratic alternatives that draw upon African political histories and cultures, some Africans agree with both the Western diagnosis (Africans are undemocratic) and the Western cure (liberal democracy). Not only that, they have become the most fanatical evangelists for this political ideology.

There are different kinds of democracy, and liberal democracy is just one of them, one iteration. We're trying to provincialize liberal democracy, while people like Jibrin and his Western "pro-democracy" friends are trying to universalize it.

One form of democracy is not superior to the other. Nor, as Ken said, does any form of democracy guarantee good governance. This is contrary to the claims of the propagators of liberal democracy and its core ideas of periodic, one-man-one-vote, winner-takes-all elections. They claim falsely that it is superior and that, unlike other modes of democratic governance, it leads to prosperity and humane, equitable, and accountable governance. Heck, Francis Fukuyama even claimed that liberal democracy was the end of history--the highest form of human political evolution!

Democracy is not a monolithic idea. It is an umbrella term, an ideational empty vessel. The core principles are legitimacy, accountability, representation, and participation. You can achieve all or most of these democratic principles through different routes, not just through the liberal democratic route, which has proved incapable of leading to these ideals in Africa. By contrast, African polities in precolonial times had all these elements. These polities had no universal suffrage or winner-takes-all electoral contests, or periodic elections on the principle of individual suffrage. And yet they were inherently democratic in different ways. 

No need to rehash what we all already know about these systems, but the point is that you can have democracy without elections, and there is a vibrant branch of political theory with a vast literature on the concept of democracy without elections. You can get to it with a simple google search.

Some countries have selections or elections based on community gatherings and townhall caucusing and not elections. Some countries have elections for some offices but not for others (Iran). Some others have constitutional monarchies or non-constitutional monarchies with locally elected officials. etc etc. Some have republican assemblies of appointed or selected representatives, etc etc. Why can't we Africans come up with our own kinds of democracy that reflects our histories, experiences and the sociological peculiarities of our various countries and peoples?

That takes me into the realm of African alternatives to this dysfunction and unsuitable liberal democracy. I have in a couple of recent publications and conference papers proposed alternative systems as a provocation for further discussion, debate, and refining reflection. If Jibrin wasn't so dogmatic and beholden to liberal democracy and was open-minded and willing to have a good fatih debate about the many democratic alternatives and possibilities available to us, I would put those ideas here.

Nimi Wariboko, a prolific philosopher and a member of this group has proposed several thought-provoking alternatives to the expensive, divisive, and increasingly meaningless zero-sum elections in Nigeria, notably the drawing of lots. He has been pushing alternative political imaginations and forms in his more recent publications. As we speak, he is working on a project that makes further provocations in this direction.

African political history is a rich reservoir of systems that provide us with raw materials with which to think and innovate our way out of this liberal democratic quagmire and into more suitable African democratic forms. We need not remain in this mess, this madness, to use Jibrin's own characterization, of liberal democracy.



Moses Ebe Ochonu

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:41:56 AMSep 19
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My definition of intellectual laziness may be wrong, but it seems to me that the African scholar who dogmatically, uncritically, sheepishly, and lazily accepts, defends, and parrots the universal superiority of a liberal democratic order invented and developed in the West for the needs of Westerners and in conformity with their experience and history is more qualified to be described as intellectually lazy than the African who critiques this system, pushes Africans to free themselves from the yoke of this dysfunctional liberal democratic imposition, and challenges Africans claiming political science expertise and training to craft an African democratic alternative or set of alternatives to an alien and ill-fitting form of democracy that Africans embraced uncritically at a moment of weakness and neoliberal blackmail.

Toyin Adepoju, don't fall into the trap of Manichean thinking or into the false dichotomy of liberal democratic salesmen. To critique liberal democracy in Africa is not to say democracy is unsuitable to Africa or that Africans are undemocratic. In fact it is to say the opposite, that Africans have always been democratic, and had democratic systems and institutions before the encounter with the white man, before the post-Cold War neoliberal imposition of liberal democracy on Nigeria and other economically desperate African countries in exchange for Western patronage, loans, and other rescue packages. It is to say that, there were and are African forms of democratic practice that can and should serve as the building blocks of African democracy that would be more suited to countries of the continent than this borrowed system. 

That the adoption of liberal democracy in the 1990s and 2000s in Africa was preceded by dictatorial and authoritarian regimes is itself another proof of the neocolonial Cold War manipulation of African political spaces as both the Western and Eastern Cold War blocs cultivated, incubated, and propped up so-called strong man rule, a.k.a military and authoritarian rule, for their own purposes. It is one of the enduring ironies of the so-called "democratization" of Africa in 1990s and 2000s Africa that Africans' pro-liberal democracy activism was in part a response to and backlash against decades of authoritarian rule sponsored and sustained by the same Western countries now purportedly wanting to introduce "democracy" to "undemocratic" Africans allegedly socialized into militarism and authoritarianism. 

Someone infected you with a disease that was alien to your body (despotism), to your lineage, and now claims that  that disease is endemic to your society and that they have the cure (liberal democracy). Do you see the problem? Instead of rejecting this racist theory of the endemicity of despotism in Africa and coming up with African democratic alternatives that draw upon African political histories and cultures, some Africans agree with both the Western diagnosis (Africans are undemocratic) and the Western cure (liberal democracy). Not only that, they have become the most fanatical evangelists for this political ideology.

There are different kinds of democracy, and liberal democracy is just one of them, one iteration. We're trying to provincialize liberal democracy, while people like Jibrin and his Western "pro-democracy" friends are trying to universalize it.

One form of democracy is not superior to the other. Nor, as Ken said, does any form of democracy guarantee good governance. This is contrary to the claims of the propagators of liberal democracy and its core ideas of periodic, one-man-one-vote, winner-takes-all elections. They claim falsely that it is superior and that, unlike other modes of democratic governance, it leads to prosperity and humane, equitable, and accountable governance. Heck, Francis Fukuyama even claimed that liberal democracy was the end of history--the highest form of human political evolution!

Democracy is not a monolithic idea. It is an umbrella term, an ideational empty vessel. The core principles are legitimacy, accountability, representation, and participation. You can achieve all or most of these democratic principles through different routes, not just through the liberal democratic route, which has proved incapable of leading to these ideals in Africa. By contrast, African polities in precolonial times had all these elements. These polities had no universal suffrage or winner-takes-all electoral contests, or periodic elections on the principle of individual suffrage. And yet they were inherently democratic in different ways. 

No need to rehash what we all already know about these systems, but the point is that you can have democracy without elections, and there is a vibrant branch of political theory with a vast literature on the concept of democracy without elections. You can get to it with a simple google search.

Some countries have selections or elections based on community gatherings and townhall caucusing and not elections. Some countries have elections for some offices but not for others (Iran). Some others have constitutional monarchies or non-constitutional monarchies with locally elected officials. etc etc. Some have republican assemblies of appointed or selected representatives, etc etc. Why can't we Africans come up with our own kinds of democracy that reflects our histories, experiences and the sociological peculiarities of our various countries and peoples?

That takes me into the realm of African alternatives to this dysfunction and unsuitable liberal democracy. I have in a couple of recent publications and conference papers proposed alternative systems as a provocation for further discussion, debate, and refining reflection. If Jibrin wasn't so dogmatic and beholden to liberal democracy and was open-minded and willing to have a good fatih debate about the many democratic alternatives and possibilities available to us, I would put those ideas here.

Nimi Wariboko, a prolific philosopher and a member of this group has proposed several thought-provoking alternatives to the expensive, divisive, and increasingly meaningless zero-sum elections in Nigeria, notably the drawing of lots. He has been pushing alternative political imaginations and forms in his more recent publications. As we speak, he is working on a project that makes further provocations in this direction.

African political history is a rich reservoir of systems that provide us with raw materials with which to think and innovate our way out of this liberal democratic quagmire and into more suitable African democratic forms. We need not remain in this mess, this madness, to use Jibrin's own characterization, of liberal democracy.



On Sun, Sep 18, 2022 at 12:42 PM Harrow, Kenneth <har...@msu.edu> wrote:

Cornelius Hamelberg

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:41:57 AMSep 19
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Re - “if the swedish model of social democracy is not enough for a  provisional answer, we have to ask, what is going on in sweden or denmark that they are so hostile to immigrants, so much that sweden would accept neonazis in their new ruling coalition.”

There are others in this forum such as Baba S. Kadiri who are infinitely better positioned to comment on the above. I have been learning a lot from him about these matters…

They call themselves " Sweden Democrats"

From a Christian charitableness point of view, immigration would normally imply "the more the merrier", but for some people,  racism  is at the top of the agenda - they believe that everything begins and ends in or with racism 

From time to time I take a look at Spectator statistics: Sweden

Suffice it to say that everything that’s supposedly going wrong with the country is being blamed squarely on immigrants:  Gang Criminality and gun violence, lower scores on the PISA scale  etc etc etc are mostly being blamed on immigrants

In today’s Sweden, immigrants are the scapegoats

But some studies have shown that on the whole, immigrants make substantial contributions to the Swedish economy contrary to what the hate campaigners/hate mongers say, that immigrants are a burden to taxpayers, that immigrants are merely freeloaders and parasites on the Swedish welfare system and should be sent packing back to where they came from. And of course, those who are useful citizens and would like to remain should adapt and integrate  - culturally, whether they are black or blue...

In some other areas too, it’s beginning to look like things are going from bad to worse than right now., even if the criminals must be the  most  unhappy about the election results because when the new government takes shape they will have no alternative other than taking some harsh - more really drastic measures against the criminals or fail in their promises to do so 

The fallout from the Sweden Democrats' Linus Bylund joking about "journalist rugby"  suggests that press freedom that’s such a vital ingredient in any democracy could soon be in danger in Sweden - "journalist rugby"  is being interpreted to mean that they (the Sweden Democrats) intend “to deal with journalists” who overstep their ( the Sweden Democrats) red lines or step on their ( the Sweden Democrats’) toes. This of course will give rise to a kind of satire and satirical writing that they are not yet familiar with since when they cut their blue and yellow teeth on something as effete as “Gulliver's Travels

1956 - Soviet into Hungary resulted in many Hungarian refugees to Sweden

1968: Polish Pogroms against Jews resulted in many Polish Jewish refugees to Sweden

Here are Sweden's election results for 1970, 1970 when we ( Better Half & me)  were in Sweden for a three months honeymoon and then back to Ghana. The following year when I took up permanent residence here,  a kind Swedish man biked me over Västerbrön on his moped and once we got to the other side, stopped at a roadside kiosk to buy me a litre of milk, which cost a Swedish Krona ( about ten cents back then) and insisted that I drink it all up. I was looking so thin, he was sure that I was one of the starving urchins recently escaped from Biafra, and  I was so impressed by his kindness that I downed the litre of milk on the spot. Then he drove and deposited me at the front door of Pokalvägen 3, in Reimersholme where Better Half and I lived. Kai and Eva-Britt Henmark (Jewish)  and their children Tobias and Matilda were our neighbours. Great neighbours. Back then, anti-Semitism existed ( of course ) and the Swedish word for it was antisemitismen and Judehate  ( hatred of Jews). In the 1973  Yom Kippur War, (by then Eva-Britt’s brother Arne Lapidus was reporting for Expressen) my impression, such as it was back then, was that the Social Democrats and most of Sweden were solid with Israel, and that was of course, long before Sten Andersson started showing some other kind of colour  - like Haman - as he morphed and metamorphosed into Sten Andersson vs Israel. Fast forward that trend and you have it culminating in the Margot Wallström vs Israel debacle. Ann Christin Linde has since changed that awful melody, thank GOD! 

Back in the day, 1970 - 1973 there was no islamophobia ( in Swedish “Islamophobi” ) for the simple reason there were hardly any Muslims in the country  - but since then there has been what the Sweden Democrats have been quick to label “ unbridled and unfettered Muslim immigration” in the past fifty years, Muslim refugees arriving with Muslim culture and lifestyle from Yugoslavia, Albania,  Iran, Iraq, Azarbaijan Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan. Bangladesh, India, South Africa, East Africa,  Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Chechnya, and the former Muslim Soviet Republics such as Uzbekistan,... here are some facts : Sweden: statistics on where immigrants come from - per country

The landscape changed gradually; since the 1970 Elections.

1973 Swedish general election

 I think that the major change began with the 1974 - 1975 oil crisis precipitated by OPEC - overnight the cost of everything more than doubled.

Here's democracy at work. Peaceful elections, especially in digitalized Sweden :

1976 Swedish general election

1979 Swedish general election

1982  Swedish general election

1985  Swedish general election

Olof Palme was assassinated on 28 February 1986

1988 Swedish general election

1991 Swedish general election

1994 Swedish general election

1998 Swedish general election

2002 Swedish general election

2006 Swedish general election

2010 Swedish general election

2014 Swedish general election

2018 Swedish general election

The mother of all elections: the 2022 Swedish general election

In this 2022 General Elections, The Swedish Social Democratic Party under the able leadership of Magdalena Andersson achieved the most spectacular results, and, normally should be forming the next government, but the so-called “ New Conservatives” who had said that they would not have anything to do with the Sweden Democrats, reneged on their promise and not only that, the Sweden Democrats are now bigger than them and are the Kingmakers. They will soon be throwing their weight around  - it could turn out to be some kind of blackmail when they present this kind of alternative to Mister Kristerson: Either you do as we say or we bring your government down  “ - since their party has the majority of parliamentary seats in the fragile government alliance  - and as things are, the Sweden democrats will not be given any ministerial positions - Mister Kristerson dare not go that far, because, first of all, the liberals in his alliance would rebel and that would cause Mister Kristerson to kiss goodbye to his prime ministership as, like Humpty-dumpty he comes crashing down and his government with a slim majority of merely three comes crashing down with him….

Oluwatoyin Adepoju

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:42:04 AMSep 19
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I'm puzzled.

A history scholar claims there is a need for theories of African democracy founded on African experiences and orientations.

Could you present one, he is asked.

I won't. You do.

Im a historian, not a political scientist, he seems to argue.

Im puzzled because the insight that enables you propose endogeneous theories of human political behaviour should be able to guide you in developing those theories.

What is the sudy of history, if not the study of the totality of human progression?

Does the study of history not delve into the history of ideas, the development of systems of social organization, the construction of theory and practise in relation to experience?

The ideational neighbourliness of the humanities and social science disciplines should enable a historian construct an insightful body of ideas in relation to any of them, even, to some degree, in relation to the sciences, after all there is a discipline called the history and philosophy of science, which is different from the practise of science.

These are issues of life and death and require delicate handling and committed response.

If one senses a possibility but considers oneself incapable of exploiting it, is it not more realistic to declare one's incapacity instead of haranguing others to follow a path they don't recognise as valid?

Thanks

Toyin


Oluwatoyin Adepoju

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Thanks Gloria.


 I could be described as ignoring the fact Moses' critique is not against democracy but what he calls "liberal democracy". 

He argues for what he calls forms of democracy derived from African history.

I look forward to reading his understanding of liberal democracy and how it's unsuited to Africans.

You are presenting a case for recognizing the existence of alternative political systems and of the idea that liberal democracy is flawed.

He is arguing that liberal democracy is unsuited and in some cases hostile, to the cultural and political inclinations and socialzation of Africans, to reference his own words in his  unequivocal summation.

Underlining the fundamentality of his position as something going beyond electoral processes to implicate the foundations of how people think and behave, he describes his position as foundational and philosphical, and as pointing to the possibility of constructing more valid systems from the values derivable from  African history rather than uncritically importing what he described as the fruits of the West's "messy" efforts at understanding and applying it's own history.

These are very big claims.

He seems to be explicitly stating that his critique goes beyond the "surface", his own term, represented by the kinds of processes you are describing.

I'm keen on reading such political theory that seeks to prove that Africans' inclinations and social history are incompatible with liberal democracy.

I'm also interested in reading about better alternative systems that may be forged from African history.

 I'm happy to read books and essays on the subject in my own time, but would find it more convenient to read such an argument on this thread.

It would enable me better appreciate the dynamism of the argument as it responds to the present context.

Thanks


Toyin

Toyin Falola

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:49:58 AMSep 19
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Two quick points not to derail the thread

  1. Sam Zelenga has done a lot in this regard of provoking alternatives.
  2. Liberal democracy, as sold to Africa, is tied to market expansion, poverty consolidation, and illicit monetary flow.

Mr. E. B. Jaiyeoba

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:51:47 AMSep 19
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Prof Ken,

I am not into Political Science or studies but I was about to say that political systems have to be related to development especially considering the development path of China since the Chinese revolution. Now you wrote that the communist party of China is autocratic. I have watched a documentary or read that the communist party actually is based on peculiar representativeness. I think that people desiring a peculiar democracy for Africa or different nations are actually asking for the Chinese format. Something that is home-grown and still achieves the goal of sustainable development. 

What do we think about this?




Babatunde JAIYEOBA

















E. Babatunde JAIYEOBA PhD
Professor of Architecture
Department of Architecture
Faculty of Environmental Design and Management
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Moses Ochonu

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Sep 19, 2022, 2:53:05 PMSep 19
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Toyin Adepoju,

For 15 years, I have been doing this work of critiquing the disastrous African flirtation with liberal democracy. It was imposed on the continent as a “democratization” sleight of hand at a time when most African states were desperate for economic rescue packages and would have adopted any system presented to them in exchange for Western financial patronage. Our elites and civil society organizations uncritically accepted the ideology and served as witting evangelists for their Western “pro-democracy” funders and sponsors.

I have not stopped at cirque; I have in fact put some tentative ideas and proposals on the table as potential alternatives and as provocations to debate and refine. These critiques and proposals are scattered in several publications of mine and in conference presentations, the latest one being a UVA conference earlier this year that will be published as part of a volume being edited by Professor Oludamini Ogunaike, who organized the conference.

So, your screed above is unfaithful to what I wrote to you, which clearly you did not read or did not read closely. I said those sarcastically asking for alternatives should do the work and work on their own alternatives to liberal democracy. After all, they’re Africans and political scientists. I never said anything about being a historian and not being interested in producing alternatives, which I have done in multiple venues. I don’t know where you saw that. You also manufactured a claim about democracy not being suitable to Africans and attributed it to me. I had to gently correct you, and Gloria has done the same.

Wariboko , whom I mentioned, is not a political scientist. Zalanga, whom Falola mentioned, is not a political scientist. There are alternatives being proposed, but our own political scientists are so enamored with liberal democracy as the gold standard of human democratic innovation that they scorn and mock alternative proposals or assume that there are no viable alternatives.

I could extract and post the proposals I have put forth in different venues, but my point is that I don’t want to humor people who have made up their minds that there are no alternatives to liberal democracy and are proceeding from that premise in bad faith to sarcastically and dismissively ask for alternatives. There is no good faith open-minded spirit of inquiry and curiosity behind their question, so why go through the trouble?

Besides, I have thrown a challenge to them, one that their training should enable to meet. We wait.

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 19, 2022, at 8:51 AM, 'Mr. E. B. Jaiyeoba' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafric...@googlegroups.com> wrote:



Emmanuel Udogu

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Sep 19, 2022, 2:53:13 PMSep 19
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Brother Moses, 


“Non man [or woman] is an island entire of itself…” This axiom is probably truer today than in the past. Commonly, ideas tend to be transpolinational and transfertilizational no matter their source. This has been my experience since I joined Brother TF’s forum at its inception. Yes, I have read with gusto the works of some of the great Nigerian scholars you cited–Alagoa, Ikimi, Dike and Ake. They are, in my judgment, in the Pantheon of Nigeria scholars. 


However, I am an ordinary academic who continues to learn, and intends to do so until I exit the scene. This fact, in part, explains why I like expressing my opinion on issues in this forum and elsewhere.


Indeed, I realize that in this moment of discomfiture with the overall development in a country that has all that it takes to be great, it would be difficult not to be explosive in expressing one’s opinion. This is especially so for those of my generation who are nostalgic about the good old days.


In any case, we have a lot of work to do. This is more the case for those of your generation. On the  matter of liberal democracy, however, I humbly say “let’s agree to disagree.” Good luck!


Ike Udogu



Oluwatoyin Adepoju

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Sep 19, 2022, 2:53:13 PMSep 19
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I appreciate Moses views better now.

I would like to present these modifications of my earlier conclusion:



The pioneers in African Studies who created the foundations of various disciplines in the field are  representative of an era of  scholarship which African Studies needs to build upon,  complementing their discipline  centred work by not only doing more of such work but also maximizing the possibilities of the field through multidisplinary scholarship,  as various disciplines feed each other in a critically enabled synergy.

Toyin Falola's multidisciplinarity, for example, moving from a  grounding in history to engaging the full scope of the humanities and social sciences,  suggests not only the power of intense focus in particular disciplines represented by the work of earlier summits in the field but also that of a critical gaze engaging the entire field in terms of a creatively synthesising intelligence.

Akinwumi Ogundiran's The Yoruba : A New History, for one, is primarily a history book, but it makes strategic contributions to philosophy of religion in Yoruba cosmology and suggests creative possibilities at the intersection of social and metaphysical imagination in the philosophy of religion in general, as local insights may illuminate universal questions, as his contribution may be interpreted.

Thanks

Toyin

Harrow, Kenneth

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Sep 19, 2022, 2:53:20 PMSep 19
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dear babatunde
someone who has studied the chinese system could opine on this--i'm afraid this is beyond my abilities to offer informed opinions.
everything i have read and seen suggests to me thechinese are autocratic in the extreme. just look at hong kong or the uighars.
but aside from that, is this regime really the best for china, for the chinese people? i would wish they could vote in a meaningful way to help answer the question. but votes are only one part of answer.
clearly, the conventional way of governing and thinking that ruled china for millenia ended with the wars and revolution of the 20th century. i don't see how it could be argued that is home grown.
and clearly the regime is a state capitalist system, not communist either.
that's about all i know.
impossible to see how this pertains to african systems of governance, history, societies, etc.
ken

kenneth harrow

professor emeritus

dept of english

michigan state university

517 803-8839

har...@msu.edu


From: 'Mr. E. B. Jaiyeoba' via USA Africa Dialogue Series <usaafric...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2022 9:40 AM

Cornelius Hamelberg

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Sep 19, 2022, 4:53:07 PMSep 19
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Another two kobos worth:  

Nowadays, in fact for over a decade now, 1st of May demonstrations are a thing of the past, in Sweden. The trade Unions were the main base of the Social Democrats.

I don’t know whether or not “The Swedish Model” at its peak of glory just before Olof Palme was assassinated (February 28, 1986) or as late as Anna Lindh’s assassination (11th September 2003 ) is essentially the same as, or can be conflated as co-terminus with “the swedish model of social democracy “. As many political observers note, the Social Democrats have been progressively moving to the right and now happen to be somewhere near the centre. Furthermore, since the Sweden Democrats started braying about “ unbridled immigration” all the political parties in the wide political spectrum of Swedish politics, to some extent, with the exception of the Left Party, have all moved a lot closer to the Sweden Democrat position about immigration. About just right now, the Sweden Democrats would like to see Zero immigration. and it should surprise you to know that quite a few Black Africans and other immigrants who also say that they love Sweden are loyal members of the Sweden Democrats Party.

Among the Nigerian socialist-type political parties that have a living chance of winning anything, I suppose that Peter Obi’s Labour Party Manifesto possibly has “ The Swedish Model” in mind:  “Peace and Happiness throughout the land”,...

But as we know, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, so he had better be careful with any serious talk about wanting to “nationalise” anything. In the light of what Jibrin Ibrahim has written about “Oil Theft”  the mere idea of divesting those who own their own piece of personal property called “ oil wells”  would be anathema to them therefore any talk of nationalizing such oil wells will just play into the hands of Obi’s enemies who will either accuse him of treason or of “communism”  -  just as they say, the power elite in South Africa were “scared shitless” that with Apartheid over the ANC was going to nationalise everything….



Emmanuel Udogu

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Sep 19, 2022, 4:53:15 PMSep 19
to usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Correction to my first paragraph

Brother Moses, 


“No man [or woman] is an island entire of itself…” This axiom is probably truer today than in the past. Commonly, ideas tend to be transpolinational and transfertilizational no matter their source. This has been my experience since I joined Brother TF’s forum at its inception. Yes, I have read with gusto the works of some of the great Nigerian scholars you cited–Alagoa, Ikimi, Dike and Ake. They are, in my judgment, in the "Pantheon of Nigerian scholars."



Oluwatoyin Adepoju

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Sep 19, 2022, 4:53:23 PMSep 19